How to Change Line Color in Photoshop

Black lines all the time get kind of boring, don’t you think? Well, Photoshop makes it simple to change things up. 

Hey there! I’m Cara and I’m a big fan of color. I love bold, true-to-life colors in my photos and if I can make a design more interesting with a splash of color, that’s what I do.

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to change line color in Photoshop. You can use the line tool or add a solid color adjustment layer and make a clipping mask. 

Note: the screenshots and tutorial below are based on Photoshop CC for Windows, if you are using another version or on a Mac, they can look different.

Using the Line Tool

Are you creating the lines with the Line tool? Then you can choose whatever color you want the lines to be as you draw them. You can also come back later and change the line color. 

First, select the line tool from the toolbar on the left. It may be hidden behind one of the other shape tools. Right-click on the tool family icon to choose the Line tool from the list. 

Simply click and drag to draw a line. In the Properties panel, click on the box marked Stroke. In the panel that opens you can choose a color from one of the recently used colors. Alternatively, click the color swatch to open the color picker and choose whatever color you desire. 

If you want to come back later and change the color of the line, simply select the layer of the line you want to change. You can access the same spot in the Properties panel to change the color. 

If you lose the Properties panel, you can find it again through the menu bar. Choose Window and click on Properties to activate the panel. A checkmark to the left means the panel is active.

Changing the Color of Line Art

What if you’re not creating the lines yourself? How do you change the colors of line art when you don’t have access to the original Photoshop file?

It’s quite simple. Let me show you how with this mountain line art.

Step 1: Switch to RGB Color

First of all, check to see if the image is in grayscale. Most black line art images that you download will be. When the image mode is grayscale, you can change the color all you want but the lines will stay black or gray. 

You can tell by checking the tab at the top where the image name is listed. If it’s in grayscale it will say Gray in the parentheses.

To get the image in color, change the color mode in the Menu bar. Go to Image, hover over Mode, and choose RGB Color. The word gray in the tab will switch to RGB. 

Step 2: Add a Solid Color Adjustment Layer

Click the half-filled circle at the bottom of the Layers panel to open the adjustment layer options. Choose Solid Color. 

The color picker will open and you can choose whatever color you want. Click OK and the project will fill with the selected color. 

Don’t panic, it’s supposed to do that. 

Step 3: Add a Clipping Mask

Over in the layers panel, hold down the Alt or Option key. Hover over the line between the line art layer and the color layer. The cursor will turn into a little 90-degree arrow next to a box.

Click to add a clipping mask.

You can also add a clipping mask by right-clicking on the layer you want to clip. Then pick Create Clipping Mask from the menu. 

Boom!

Have fun reimagining your lines and line art with whatever color your heart desires!

Curious what else you can do with lines in Photoshop? Check out how to thicken lines here!

About Cara Koch
Cara fell in love with photography circa 2014 and has been exploring all corners of the imagery world ever since. When she felt limited by Lightroom, she dove headfirst into Photoshop to learn how to create the images she wanted.

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